DePuy Metal-on-Metal Hip Failure

An unacceptably high number of DePuy ASR hip implants are failing within six years, according to data provided by a British database that tracks hip replacement problems in the U.K.

Information from the National Joint Registry for England and Wales indicates that up to 29% of patients who received DePuy metal-on-metal hip implants reported joint replacement system failure within six years of implantation.

According to information released by DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, at the time of the DePuy ASR hip recall last year, 12% to 13% of the ASR hips may fail within five years.

Roughly 40,000 DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Systems and DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing Systems were sold in the United States before the recall was issued in August 2010.  About 90,000 of the devices were sold worldwide.

DePuy has publicly doubted the rate of failure reported by the British agency.  The British registry also reports the five-year failure rate for ASR hips to be roughly 17%.

Johnson & Johnson is currently involved in more than 1,000 DePuy metal-on-metal hip replacement lawsuits, filed by patient show have suffered device failure or metallosis, a form of blood poisoning caused when parts of the metal hips enter the bloodstream.  In some expert estimates, Johnson & Johnson could  end up spending upwards of $1 billion in liability over these potentially defective medical devices.

The ASR is not the only hip implant system in question: all hip implants that have metal-on-metal construction are subject to a high rate of early failure, according to the British registry.

Hip implants are meant to last for an average of 15 years, but the metal-on-metal hips tend to fail much sooner, causing pain, injury, blood poisoning, and often hip replacement revision surgery.  Many doctors have moved away from using metal-on-metal hip replacements.  Still these devices, which use cobalt and chromium in their construction, accounted for roughly one-third of the 250,000 hop replacements performed in recent years in the United States.

Metallosis, a condition that is caused when the metal parts of a hip implant rub together and release tiny particles of metal into the bloodstream, can cause the following hip replacement complications:

  • Soft tissue damage
  • Inflammatory reactions
  • Bone loss
  • Genetic damage
  • Asceptic fibrosis
  • Local necrosis
  • Hip revision surgery

Contact a DePuy Hip Lawyer

If you have suffered injury, metallosis, or hip replacement revision surgery after being implanted with a DePuy ASR hip, you may be entitled to compensation in a dangerous medical device lawsuit.  Contact our medical product liability attorneys today for a free legal consultation.

Sept. 23, 2011 | Tags: Dangerous Medical Devices, De Puy, Defective Medical Devices

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